August 28, 2014

How to Get Results: Be Strategic, Get Focused, Show Grit

get results

People regularly tell me they want business results fast, like in 30 days, to grow new customers, get more referrals, have more LinkedIn or Twitter followers and get more likes or comments. Those things are all possible, as long as your “operating system” and certain strategies are in place, driving momentum.

Please stop trying to speed up success and results by taking short cuts, doing the minimum or not being willing to put the right things in place. It simply just doesn’t work that way and is actually a waste of precious time.

Success and business results leave clues, follow a process and unfold over time. We all have to put in the grunt work, pay the dues and follow the path that naturally unfolds as we gain experience and wisdom and find the right formula for ourselves.

Overnight success, quick success and results is a myth, very difficult to sustain, unrealistic and short lived most of the time. Our greatest assets for sustaining success and getting results is clarity, focus, patience, consistency and grit.

Look at the legacy and longevity of the impressive careers of Jonathon Winters, Margaret Thatcher, Dick Clark, Elizabeth Taylor, Shirley Temple, Zig Ziglar, Steve Jobs.

They all had a clear sense of their:

  • Pace
  • Timing
  • Opportunities
  • Self-management

What did they do? What was the formula they developed to sustain their brand and likability, yet still change? How can you build the “operating system” for your success, brand and platform around the same principles?

How to Get Business Results

Be Very Strategic, Very Focused and Very Specific

Smaller is better, laser niching is smart. Have a clear, thought-out, purposeful strategy for everything you do and everyone that you invest time and energy with and on. Know what roles you both play in each others story and why you are doing what you do.

Don’t get distracted for too long, stay focused. LinkedIn has done an amazing job climbing to the top of the professional online platform space, and is on pace to continue to lead with 200 million+ members in 200 countries.

Pace Yourself and Be Consistent

Easy does it. Run for the marathon, not the sprint. Always train for the second half of the race so you don’t start out too fast, then fizzle and burn out toward the end. A steady pace and then a kick at the end always wins.

Sense When The Timing is Right or Wrong

If it feels right, then trust your instincts and go with it. If it feels wrong or there is any hint of reservation, wait and let more unfold and be revealed. BlogTalkRadio is one of the most popular online audio podcasting sites and networks.

They recently re-branded their site and technology to keep pace with their growing hosts,  listeners and the exploding podcast space. It was very timely, smart and needed.

Assess Opportunities That Fit and Make Sense

A lot of opportunities come across our path, but not all are right for where we are and where we are going. Pounce on the ones that make the best sense and fit your goals and direction to the present. Did Mark Zuckerberg make a smart move by building a Facebook phone?

Have a Self Management Plan and Network to Help and Support You

Do you have a mentor, accountability partner or group and confidants? Trusted professional colleagues, friends and family create a network to support and keep us honest and on track. Who do you trust to call you out?

Two years ago, Heidi Grant Halvorson wrote about the “Nine Things Successful People Do Differently,” which became HBR’s most-read piece of content over that time span. It was a list of strategies, based on decades of scientific research, proven effective for setting and reaching challenging goals.

To help answer that question, last spring she created “Nine Things Diagnostic.” It’s a free, online set of questionnaires that anyone can take, designed to measure your own use of each of the nine things you do in pursuit of your personal and professional goals. In order of effect magnitude, here are the top 9 most impactful strategies she collected from her 30K surveys. Fascinating, but not surprising.

In the words of the comical genius and benchmark, (RIP) Jonathon Winters:

“I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.”

What strategic things do you do daily to get business results?

Get Results Photo via Shutterstock

8 Comments ▼

Deborah Shane


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane is a staff writer for Small Business Trends covering marketing, branding and social media topics. She is a Top 100 Small Business Champion, career transition consultant, personal branding strategist and social media specialist. Deborah hosts her Top 100 Small Business Podcast weekly. Her book #trusthewhy Fundamentals, Values and Humor Get You Through Anything and award winning "Career Transition: Make the Shift" (2011) are available through all major book sellers.

8 Reactions

  1. What does “your operating system” look like and how do you keep it humming?

  2. I guess, when it comes to success.. there are just no shortcuts. My major concern is that many business owners are focused on vanity metrics that they are missing out on the real metrics instead. For this, they get into the shady practice of buying fans and followers on sites that offer them. Anyway, I like your words of wisdom here and these can only work if you’re open to the concept of continuous improvement. To answer your question, I think.. without the box. Things are clearer when you start each day on a clean slate ( minus the mental & physical clutter ). Then, you get to accomplish more and come up with something fresh.

    • I love that Shaleen: “a without a box” thinker. I agree on the vanity metrics, such a waste of time, especially since people consider it being spammed. No short-cuts, do the daily work. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  3. Great post, Deborah! The combination of planning, preparation and simple perseverance aren’t necessarily sexy but they produce results.

    Your inclusion of self-management is an underrated aspect of this process. By enhancing self-awareness, it becomes easier to know when it’s time to take a step back and regroup or step up the pace. Also, better self-management skills support your ability to maintain the big picture perspective (CEO Mindset) while doing the day-to-day tasks. Then, you know if what you did today helped get you closer to meeting the business goals.

    • Step back or step up, how can we possibly know unless we pay attention to our guts? Self awareness and management is an an aquired taste for sure, but professional and personal practices that yield BIG results. Thanks Elli for taking the time to comment. Come back.

  4. Buenas dia Gilberto. Muchas gracias por su visitar! I believe you are in Brazil!Appreciate you posting this on your blog. Please come back.

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